Text: Psalm 46:1-11 (NLT)
1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude 4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. 5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. 6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! 7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude 8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. 9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” 11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
“But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4 (NLT)
Intro: Category Three Hurricane: winds of 111 – 130 mph
A cyclone that eventually reaches hurricane intensity first passes through two intermediate stages known as tropical depression and tropical storm. Hurricanes start over the oceans as a collection of storms in the tropics. The deepening low-pressure center takes in moist air and thermal energy from the ocean surface, convection lifts the air, and high pressure higher in the atmosphere pushes it outward. Rotation of the wind currents tends to spin the clouds into a tight curl; as the winds reach gale force, the depression becomes a tropical storm. The mature hurricane is nearly circularly symmetrical, and its influence often extends over an area 500 mi (805 km) in diameter. Once a tropical storm reaches winds of 74 mph it becomes a hurricane, and then it is placed in one of 5 categories, 74 mph being a category 1 and category 5 being over 156 mph. For days the talk of Irene was a category 3 wind of 111 – 130 mph. This category grabbed the attention of the Country for days and as it turned out it could have been worse and for millions they wish it could have been better.
The Lord is our hiding place from the stormy, fiery trials of this world. Listen to God’s promise to all believers that He will be a refuge and shelter in time of trouble. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
Why do we have to wait for a storm to come before we think of God?
Application: Storms do come but God brings calm!
1. THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD vs. 1-3
1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
Let the Ocean roar! And it did just last week, it could have been a Category three it could have been worse, it could have been better, it was a storm and it did effect all of us but God did bring a calm.
In times of trouble you can count on God. Christians fail to trust God in times of trouble because they know nothing about His sufficiency. They have not learned that He is sufficient. We need a God who does not fail us. God is sufficient in any circumstance. Plain and simple God is enough! WHEN WILL YOU TRUST Him with that?
"Though the earth be removed'' -- the removal of the earth would be the most extreme circumstance I can think of. Has the earth ever been taken out from under you? Have you ever been suspended in space? Most people think they are the only ones who have ever had trouble. Everyone has trouble, but God's people find God sufficient in time of trouble. God is our refuge, and our strength, and a very present help when we are in trouble. Men down through the ages have found this to be true.
2. THE SECURITY OF GOD vs. 4-7
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. 5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. 6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! 7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
God does give us security, but you cannot just expect it when it is convenient! You can’t put God on the back burner! I must admit that after the storm came and gone I would of thought more church members would of come to prayer meeting. I understand the hurricane put a lot of undue pressure on stuff going on! I guess my thought was this category 3 storm could have been a lot worse and we should thank God that it wasn’t. Spiritually speaking sometimes the storms we experience and the Category for which we receive the storm is a reflection of the trust and faith we have in God. I don’t believe we are always at fault for the storms we face, but it is interesting the way we deal with them when they do come. God does give us security do you have it?
Illustration: Soar on Wings Like Eagles
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV
An eagle knows when the storm is approaching long before it breaks. It will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, it is soaring above it.
The eagle doesn't escape the storm, it simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rides on the winds that bring the storm.
Isaiah compares people to eagles. He says, in the words of God, that we are blessed with that gift from God that enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weight us down, it is the way we handle them.
Some expositors consider this river symbolic. I believe the river is a reality that speaks of the supply and the refreshment that God gives even today, and that river is the Word of God. The bible tells us blessed is the man that is planted by the rivers of water: it is the Bible that stabilizes us in the time of confusion it gives us security. It is the anchor that is thrown over the boat when the storms come and they will come!
Illustration: BIBLE - The Infallible Chart
A ship's mate once challenged a chaplain with the question, "How is it that you are always talking to my men about Jesus Christ? Did you ever see Him?" "No, I never did." "Then how can you tell a man to trust in someone you have never seen? I can't see any sense in that." "Well," replied the chaplain, "when you head for a place of refuge in a storm, what sense is there in telling your men to let go the anchor when they cannot see the ground? On what principle do you trust your ship and your life to ground you have never seen and never can see?" "Oh," said the mate, "we go by our chart." "Exactly," replied the chaplain, holding up his Bible, "and I, too, go by a chart, and it is an infallible one, while yours is not. It tells me of the only sure ground of my salvation—the atoning work of Christ upon the cross. My faith, like your anchor, takes hold of this unseen but real ground, and so rides out the storm of life in peace and safety."
3. THE STILLNESS OF GOD vs. 8-11
8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. 9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” 11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude
It could be possible the one thing we all need to hear is God telling us: “Be still, and know that I am God!”
Wind and Wave obey! Luke 8:22-25 (HCSB)
22 One day He and His disciples got into a boat, and He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they were sailing He fell asleep. Then a fierce windstorm came down on the lake; they were being swamped and were in danger. 24 They came and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, asking one another, “Who can this be? He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey Him!”
Please here the message - God doesn’t sleep He can and does bring calm!
Illustration: When on the Rock
A storm wrecked a ship. The only survivor was a little boy who was swept by the waves onto a rock. There he sat all night long. In the morning he was seen and rescued. One of his rescuers asked him, "Did not you tremble while you were on the rock during the night?" His answer: "I surely did tremble but the rock did not."
We are human. We cannot help but tremble, but the Rock on which we stand never does. ON THIS SOLD ROCK I STAND ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND!
High winds are a primary cause of hurricane-inflicted loss of life and property damage. Another cause is the flooding resulting from the coastal storm surge of the ocean and the torrential rains, both of which accompany the storm. The Saffir-Simpson scale for rating the severity of a hurricane as measured by the damage it causes. It classifies hurricanes on a hierarchy from category 1 (minimal), through category 2 (moderate), category 3 (extensive), and category 4 (extreme), to category 5 (catastrophic).
A category 3 Hurricane is extensive, we will face storms regardless of its category and when we can understand: THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD, THE SECURITY OF GOD and THE STILLNESS OF GOD that we can have we can deal with the storms better.
Illustration: Genuine Faith - Joel C. Gregory states:
"First, I believe that the testing we go through demonstrates the genuineness of our faith. In the phrase 'the testing of your faith', the word 'testing' is an almost untranslatable word. The Williams version explains it as showing what is 'genuine in your faith.' The idea refers to iron ore that has gone through the refining fire and comes out the other side clean and pure and genuine. This is the word Job used when he said, 'When he has tried me in the fire, I will come out like gold'.
"Actually, there may be something suspect about a faith that has never been tested. An army going through basic training is not ready for battle. Not until soldiers have faced the battle, and been under fire, do they consider themselves proven, hardened, worthy. A ship cannot prove that it has been sturdily built as long as it stays in dry dock. Its hull must get wet; it must face a storm to demonstrate genuine seaworthiness. The same is true of our faith. When we hold fast to belief in Christ in spite of life's storms and crushing criticism that is when we demonstrate the genuineness of our faith."
In : Sermon
Tags: "category three" hurricane
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